Yes, Go To The College Where You Only Know 3 People

Yes, Go To The College Where You Only Know 3 People

It's not time to see what your friends can do, but what you can do.
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Picking the school you wish to attend after high school ranks high on the stress scale.

There are the top schools everyone looks to get into -- the ones you can say half your class will be attending. There are so many things to consider, but it really boils down to which place has what you need, is in your budget, and feels right.

Something else to consider is this: Even if no one you know goes to the college or university you're interested in, it's okay. It might even be better.

Those popular, close to home, community colleges or a big ten university will be crawling with people from your high school. Those who chose to attend them will know many people as they walk around campus, even if they don't see them every day. It's nice, sort of a safety net, but I think the best way to really start discovering what is out there is to start somewhere new.

The school I chose to attend a little over two years ago was Aquinas College.

I didn't know anyone besides my roommate in my class, and only recognized a couple names of upper class-men by association. Being at a school where you don't know anyone is refreshing.

You aren't surrounded by your friends, so you are forced to make new ones. You have a clean slate, the ability to show people who you are, and an opportunity to be you and have a new group of people to be around. You can escape the high school drama, and even though you see people you went to school with having a blast, you can also see that you have come further than you would have close to home.

You don't have the luxury of calling up your friend who lives ten minutes down the road when you attend a school over an hour away. Without there being people you know around you constantly, you have to work for what you want. If you want there to be people you can rely on, you have to make connections and form relationships with those around you.

During orientation, you are put in groups of people that you do different tasks with throughout the first couple days.

You get to know them and their interests. This leads to forming friendships with those who just so happened to live down the hall from you, opening doors (literally and metaphorically) to new adventures. I was living in a whole new city. There was a world out there to be explored, and my new friends were right there ready to explore with me.

Another thing this allowed me to do was be distanced from my home safety net. I didn't have family to turn to if I went down the hall or twenty minutes away. The closest relatives were an hour away, as well, so I had to learn to fend for myself. There wasn't anyone telling me what to do, so I had to make the decision to stay in and work on homework even if my friends were going out that night.

One of the best things that could have happened to me while attending Aquinas College was lacrosse.

I was lucky enough to get to know and make friends with some of the girls on the team, and will be forever grateful to them for convincing me to try out during fall ball. I never thought I would play a collegiate sport, but I'm glad I did. Being on a team, you connect with other players, and through them you are able to branch out more and more. Through this experience, I was able to see how wonderful it is to find your own way though things and be proud of your accomplishments.

To all of you high school students trying to decide where you want to go, try not to worry too much. Don't feel like you have to go somewhere because your friend goes there, or because your significant other attends or will be attending the same school. Wherever you end up, there will be professors, students, and activities waiting for you, even if you don't know anything about them yet.

It is okay to go to a college close to home or far away. If you choose to go to a place where you don't know anyone, it will be different, but different is a good thing. Pick a place that fits you, not those you have chosen to surround yourself with throughout the years.

Then once you have made your decision, embrace it, and make the most of everything this new opportunity has to offer.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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